As with awards shows, it is important to pay tribute to greater Cincinnati’s now-defunct restaurants and businesses. I know there are more, but these are the ones that stick out (in alphabetical order).
Celebrating our anniversary at Bella Luna
Bella Luna (East End)
We celebrated our third anniversary here in 2015. It was very good and it’s always sad to see a long-time Cincinnati staple close its doors.
Closing: December 31
Coffee Emporium at Queen City Square (downtown)
I personally loved this location for its proximity to work, but am thankful for Central Parkway, Hyde Park, and Xavier locations.
Daveed’s (Mt. Adams)
I never got to try this place even though I always wanted to. It was on the “original” (well, my original from 2010) Cincinnati Magazine Top 40 burger list.
Enoteca Emilia (O’Bryonville)
Also never got to eat here, which is sad to me. I always heard great things about it.
Hanging out on Neons’ patio with my guys
The Famous Neons Unplugged (OTR)
Dating back to the inaugural season of the OTR Urban Football League (2010) and Cafe de Wheels burgers before Yelp! Trivia (2011?), followed by candles in a Holtman’s donut for my 28th birthday (2013), and countless happy hours and beers spent with friends, my husband, and Franklin on the patio, Neons was an institution. A very sad closing for many.
Happy Belly on Vine (OTR)
I was really disappointed when Happy Belly closed. It was a great, reasonably-priced healthy lunchtime option. I know BK was really sad when it closed its doors — he ate there at least once a week when he worked in Union Hall.
While Huit’s Court Street location has closed, it has “graduated to ninth grade” by way of Neuf around the corner on Main Street.
Meatball Kitchen (Clifton)
Meatball Kitchen closed its restaurant on Short Vine in September after 18 months serving the Clifton area. I liked everything I was fortunate enough to have tried.
NuVo at Greenup (Covington)
This upscale eatery was one of Cincinnati’s top-ranked restaurants. NuVo served its last meal in October, and Piccolo Casa, an Italian restaurant opened in its wake in November.
Macaroni and cheese, Pimento Cheese Fritters, fried chicken sandwich, and dessert from Son of a Preacher Man for my 30th birthday
Son of a Preacher Man (O’Bryonville)
I really liked Son of a Preacher Man, and I thought it was just as good as Eagle with none of the wait times. The Pimento Fritters was one of my favorite appetizers around, and they had great cocktails, too. A glaring absence once again on O’Bryon Street.
Virgil’s Cafe (Bellevue)
The only time I had Virgil’s was when I was ill in early 2013 (after what I later learned was having a stroke). It was our first date since I’d gotten sick a few weeks prior and I could hardly eat. I think I had two bites of my cheeseburger. I am disappointed I won’t ever be able to rectify that experience.
Closed: December 2015
Donuts, Breakfast Lasagna, Unforgettable French Toast, and fruit and goetta from Vitor’s Bistro
Vitor’s Bistro (Cheviot)
Vitor’s had the best brunch in Cincinnati, and I’m sad to see the Cheviot location go. It has since reopened in West Harrison, IN. I have got to get back for that Unforgettable French Toast. It’s truly unforgettable.
Wendy’s on 4th (downtown)
This is mostly in jest, but I feel like this location was an institution.
Devilish Eggs, burgers and fries, Grippos fries, and brunch from The Rookwood
And finally, the one that hits home the most, The Rookwood. This Mt. Adams restaurant (built in 1892, it was the original home of Rookwood Pottery) ranked among my favorite burgers, fries, and brunch in the city. Really, it was one of my all-around favorite restaurants. We had one of our early dates there (which turned into many dates following), we celebrated milestones there, we shared brunch with friends who shared with us the news of their growing family. It was a special place for us. The Rookwood’s abrupt closing on Monday will sting for a while.
What other restaurants, drinkeries, retail stores, or places have closed in the past year that you’d like to acknowledge?